Disgraced Chinese Politician Expelled from Parliament

Posted October 25th, 2012 at 10:30 pm (UTC-5)
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China's official media outlet says the country's parliament has expelled disgraced politician Bo Xilai and stripped him of his legal immunity, clearing the way for his prosecution.

The Xinhua news agency said Friday that the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress announced the termination of Bo Xilai as the NPC deputy.

Bo has already been expelled from the Communist Party as a result of a scandal that has seen his wife convicted of murder. Last month, state media said he will “face justice” for charges including abuse of power, taking bribes, and improper sexual relations.

On Wednesday, a group of Chinese leftists signed a petition urging parliament not to expel Bo, saying he could be exposed to an unfair and politically motivated trial. The letter, signed by hundreds of academics and former officials, was published on the far-left Red China website.

Once a rising star in Chinese politics, the divisive and charismatic Bo is thought to still command the respect of many left-leaning Chinese because of his calls for a Mao-era “red revival.”

Bo has not been seen or heard from since February, when his ex-police chief fled to the U.S. consulate in Chengdu with details of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood. His wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of murdering Heywood in a business dispute and given a suspended death sentence.

Before his downfall, Bo had been considered a favorite to be named to the powerful Politburo Standing Committee, China's highest decision making body, during a leadership transition set to begin in two weeks.